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Everything posted by Sp@ce_d

  1. Got my NEQ6 this week.. and my mind is put at rest ( but not my ears!) by yet another informative thread on SGL It has all the characteristics discussed here. The annoying one is the high pitched whine and distant car alarm sound.. ouch..gets right in my head.. Oh well, my ears can't have been that damaged from "Playin LOUD" all those years!! At least it's a lot quieter than my ETX!!
  2. Aha.. maybe deliberately.. isn't that the sign for "In distress.. help"
  3. Hello neighbour.. you're in the right place and good hands here
  4. I thought it laboured the point of.. well "what's the point" Anyway, I thought I'd get in the mood before hand and watch the last of "The Planets" series again from a few years back... blow me half the material in that was repeated almost word for word by Brian.. including the "one pixel of light".. Look on the bright side.. "Things can only get better" .. .. geddit.. ok I'll get me coat...
  5. Cloudy up here.. make the most of your clear skies.. I'm expecting new gear to arrive tomorrow.. sry bout that..
  6. No sign here (Mid/East Lothian border) Been out making the most of it all night.. nice pretty clear night tho.. bit of ground mist and cold.. told I have to thaw out before bed..
  7. Ah ok, it's just that Celestron seems to make this claim as if it were something "special".. I don't have experience of eq mounts, only wedging my alt-az so wasn't sure of this.. thanks Really then, it does seem that for ~£900 the NEQ6 is the thing.. I guess I'm just trying to future proof myself. I see the DX version is mainly the tripod upgrade. So, if I plan on using a pier later there's no point in that anyway!
  8. Thanks for the comprehensive reply.. Ah.. No I didn't know about the DX version. Looking at the price ( nearly double!) I don't think thats really in my buget for my timescales.. So, from what you say the benefits of the (original) CGEM are catered for by using EQMod with the EQ6. As far as hardware benefits replacing the "bendy bolts" sounds like a must. I had more or less settled on the NEQ6 but you know what it's like making decisions when you know you'll have to wait for it.. Of course if I wait too much longer the lighter nights coupled with the possibility of "Double Daylight Time" (not to mention cloud) will limit use of anything I get before the end of Summer! So, maybe I should wait till then and save a bit more for the IOptron 45? Does anyone have experience of this yet?
  9. NEQ6 or CGEM? It seems there's a wait of a couple of weeks before the next SW shipment arrives in the UK, It's given me time to have a nagging doubt about the choice of mount for imaging. The EQ6 seems to be the workhorse used here in the UK at least but I've read that the CGEM is more accurate and is a "beefed up EQ6". Plus there's the tracking past the meridian claim. If this is the case, why shouldn't I go for the CGEM over the NEQ6 Pro? My initial requirements for the mount are guide scope, guide cam and piggy back DSLR. Followed by 80mm scope and CCD in 6 months or so. I also may have build a shed and installed a pier by the end of the summer and remote/computer control capability of the mount is a must too. So, what are the real pro's and cons with these choice of mounts?
  10. Hey look on the err.. bright side.. If the Daylight Saving Bill goes through we'll be able to observe till lunchtime in the winter !!
  11. Actually joking apart. You have reminded me of something I saw back in the early 90's when I lived in the darker skies of the Borders. Around the same time as you, 7pm interestingly enough, must have been winter time as it was pitch black. 2 red lights, one following the other at about a one second interval. Must have crossed the entire sky south to north in oh.. 2 seconds! I was used to the RAF training over my house at all hours.. low enough to clearly see the pilots sometimes in daylight.. without a scope!! But this was different, there was no sound at all and travelling a lot faster than a Tornado. My first thought was tracer fire! That's what it looked like, coming towards me and over my head, but at a consistent speed.. never seen anything like it before or since...
  12. I'm just looking at going down this route with the EQ6. From what I understand if you use EQmod then you dont need the goto. Just the synscan version? Also the Harware interface is £44.90 at FLO.. Cables, Leads and Controllers - HitecAstro EQDIR adapter I expect someone who uses this will be along to confirm soon
  13. Stan this is great... You know.. there's one thing that I've really noticed since joining this forum.. and that is ingenuity is still alive and well! I've become so used to the "buy new, throw away, don't fix" world we've become that I'd forgotten about these "lost skills". I bought one of these only last week! I read an article in "The Metro" the other week about anyone under 35 having no idea what DIY is, as it's dying out apparently. (Talking of which one of our great inventors, who I crossed paths with many years ago, Ron Hickman (The Workmate, Lotus Elan) passed away this week) . I'm so pleased to see ingenuity lives on... nice one Stan
  14. Yup, best advice always comes from someone who's been through the pain! One other thing I just remembered, MS crippled FW in XP with SP2. so if anyone does use XP with FW it's worth knowing they dropped the bus speed right down by default. I don't have the info to hand right now but theres a patch and registry hack to get it working at full speed needed.
  15. Always a bit of a minefield with adapters. As a general rule 4 pin needs external power supply and 6 pin supplies power via cable. Now, looking at the specs of the camera it needs 4.5 - 5.5v which normally would be ok via 6 pin FW cable. However, as you would be using a USB - FW adapter it depends on the spec of the USB port on the PC. It may not supply enough current to power the USB camera version either. I had a quick look on lindy (lindy.co.uk) and Maplins site and didn't see any FW-USB adapters listed which makes me wonder if it's too much of a hit and miss. DMK's faq does say external psu's are available so that may be a solution but it's always nice to minimise cables. Personaly I prefer FW devices as the sustained transfer rate of FW400 is higher than USB2. However I'm also a Mac user and FW is standard. Unless your netbook has an Expresscard slot, therefore giving you the option of fitting a FW card ( I doubt it) I'd go for the USB version, bearing in mind your USB port must be able to supply enough current (500ma) for the camera. Otherwise you'll need the external psu too. Thats why a lot of USB disks use 2 USB ports because of the power consumption. ( well on PC's.. get a Mac ) Hope that helps..
  16. 1st Nov Don't let Brian Cox know yer doin astrology..
  17. Oh.. it's started already, now I have to put a OSC AND Monochrome CCD on my shopping list - Ok, so slightly revised timetable /shopping list then: Stage 1: Now - Get mount and auto guiding up and running with my D80 & lenses for Imaging. Mount - EQ6 or CGEM - still need to know if the CGEM is worth the xtra Guide Scope - ST80 seems to be the de-facto Guide Cam - I could use my SPC900 but didn't have a very good experience trying it using my ETX as a guidescope.. ok I didn't expect much but PHD didn't stay locked for more than a minute or so and sensitivity didn't seem too good.. So, still need to find one that has Mac & Win drivers if I can... suggestions? DSLR camera mount/quick release head - mounted on top of ST80 Software - Mac or Win. I'm comfortable configuring either.. It's the Apps & drivers that will decide this for me then. This is for control and capture. For post processing I currently "dabble" with DSS (on a Win7 VM) and CS3. Stage 2 - in 2-6 months: - I'll open this up a bit now as my budget for this section may need revising if I push back on timelines and getting a larger scope in Stage 3 scope ~ 80mm This is my list of potential candidates, gleamed mostly from what I've read from discussions in SGL. The budget varies a bit here so is the 80mm the workhorse size I'm led to believe and therefore worth investing in and delaying a larger scope purchase for perhaps another 10-12 months or more? Skywatcher Equinox 80 APO PRO OTA Skywatcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro Outfit Meade 5000 80mm ED APO Triplet Refractor William Optics Megrez 72 FD DDG APO Orion ED80T CF Apochromatic Refractor APM 80mm F/6 Triplet APO Now, depending on which scope I went for here, (and forgetting the larger scope until next spring as Olly suggests) I may have the budget for a CCD before I reach Stage 3's time frame. As suggested the Atik 383 does look tempting (I was thinking of getting a Cannon 1000d body and moding it at this point) Stage 3 - in 10-12 months: (CCD if not obtained at end of Stage 2) Larger scope ~ mn190 ? Surely I would have built an Obsy by then
  18. Thanks for the advise so far… much appreciated As far as running Windows on the Mac, yup I'm happy enough with running either bootcamp or VM's. I usually run a VM as I've been using Mac apps along side Windows apps at the same time. Power management isn't much different, either way it's not long enough on the laptop! I have bootcamp and VM's configured so I can choose. Although I'm much happier in a Mac (or unix) environment if I have to run Win apps because I cant do what I want to under MacOS then I'll have to deal with it. No probs. I just want to try and make my decisions as "dual" compatible as possible for the future. If I'm running this from my back garden as I'm designing for the moment then power isn't the issue anyway. I can worry about that later once I've got to grips with things at home before I venture away to darker sites where time will be more valuable. Mount wise, so it does seem I could go for the EQ6 Syntrek and have "goto" capability as such via computer. Although saving £100 over the NEQ6 may be false economy if I wanted goto (£290) and the counterweight extension and saddles later on… (unless I found a second hand one of course) Am I likely to want these? would it affect resale value? Is that the only difference between them? The other mount I'm considering is the CGEM.. mainly because of the "tracking beyond the meridian" claim would this mount be worth the extra £200 for that? What other advantages does it have? in fact does EQMod work with it anyway? Has anyone any advice on choice of guide camera. I homed in on the Starlight Xpress lodestar because it seems it works on MacOS and Windows.. well according to PHD anyway. Olly I'm so pleased to hear that.. It means my research must be on track and most of the credit has to go to you guys here at SGL.. Thankyou I see your point about bringing the CCD forward in the plan, although I had thought I would be following Steve (Every Photon Counts) advice and go down the colour one shot route for here in the UK (well Scotland.. access to possibly darker sites ) But now you mention it only last night I was cursing exactly the fact the moon was too bright yet it was clear… in fact that was my final frustration that led to this post I haven't even considered the learning curve for using monochrome.. so more reading up on that for me then..
  19. Right, that's it.. I've wasted enough time trying to do it calmly, learn to walk first they say.. well it's all your fault. Every day you post the most amazing images... yes you.. you out there you know who you are ... just taunting me ... arghhhh.. the horror.. the horror.... :) Ahem, ok.. got that off my chest... right I need your help to advise me with getting started on putting together a decent imaging setup. So I've read the book.. trawled the web, seen the film, bought the t-shirt.. and now I'm here. My vision is an Imaging set-up that ultimately I can control from the computer. I realise to feed this craving I'm gonna have to finance this in stages and I also want something that is proven and works together so, concentrating primarily on getting started at stage 1, I'm proposing: Stage 1: - Get mount and auto guiding up and running with my D80 & lenses for Imaging. Mount - EQ6 or CGEM - does it need to be goto for remote control via computer though? Guide Scope - ST80 seems to be the de-facto Guide Cam - I'd prefer something supported on Mac and Windows so the SE Lodestar seems to come up at least as far as PHD is concerned. DSLR camera mount/quick release head - Should I piggyback the cam or use a dual side by side type mount? Software - I prefer using Macs, so Equinox and PHD maybe or would I get far better control going down the EQMod route and running it off a Windows VM on the Mac. I also need to consider motorised focus control I guess. Stage 2 - in 2-3 months: scope ~ 80mm Maybe get a Cannon body if my Nikon doesn't work out Stage 3 - in 6+ months: Larger scope ~ mn190 ? CCD Cam maybe Obsy may be built by then I'm really interested in advise/comments on stage 1 as that's the foundation I need to get right now. I've included my ideas for the future so you know where I'm "dreaming" of heading..
  20. I understand what you mean.. but it's much the same as needing to "tune" the ear into any regional dialect, or focusing your scope for that matter. One you "lock" on you're away. But then again he's always been quick and enthusiastic with his delivery. As for replacement... As much as I really like Brian Cox and think he's probably the best way forward to make the science "sexy" for the future generations. I wouldn't want Sir Patrick to be replaced, that should be left for him to decide. He's Astronomy's royalty for goodness sake!! ..
  21. and of course.. "Star Bars"
  22. Hmmm do "Flying Saucers" count.. .. oh I'm too slow tonight..
  23. Errr.. do I remember "Space Dust" ? Ah.. beat me to it..
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